Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Off again!

Just to let you know I am off on holiday again, this time swanking it up in the south of France in a romantic spa retreat with my husband to celebrate our wedding anniversary! Can't wait. We leave responsibility and humdrum tonight and return (no doubt with a bump) on Sunday. My mother in law is in charge! I know I am supposed to be thinking of doing other things on this holiday, but I have packed the sock in a safe place, you never know, I may get to finish it in a quiet moment!!Hah!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Vogue Silver Belle KAL

Hah!!! Stacey from Crimson Purl and I are hosting a KAL!!!!

A while ago I showed you this picture,

and there's a free pattern download with it too, so the only purchase is the yarn!

We are very excited about hosting it, and we are thinking it will mean we are important people.....lol. I am a bit nervous as well, and glad that Stacey is doing it, as I'm not technically minded really, and she is computer clever, so that should make it a smooth kal.

Why don't you join us? It's a great pattern and all you have to do is click here to get to the kal site and then email us at silverbellekal@gmail.com to join in.

Come on, you know you NEED that jacket for those chilly winter evenings! I'm planning to knit mine in chocolate brown.

See you over there!

Friday, August 24, 2007

YPF and a little baby pron as well...

Does that sound sick and wrong?? Well, you know what I mean.

Firstly, some Angels and Elephants yarn...

The second picture is probably more representative of the colour, it's called raspberry ripple. Nice, hey???? It's kind of in a queue either for the chevron scarf or a pair of socks, it's still deciding.

As promised, a picture of Florence and Esme after my visit tonight. She is gorgeous and my sister looks very well, considering. Never mind the c section she ended up having, I think she looked very well considering she had all 3 of her very loud and fast talking sisters around her bed in a hospital that was doing a great impression of a greenhouse!


Mosey on over to here and enter a blogiversary contest!

Baby news...Florence was born last night, weighing a teeny 5 lbs 12 oz! We only make girls in our family, this is the 4th one that I am Auntie Lil to! Obviously, we only make the superior species, that's my thinking! I am off to visit her tonight, bearing knitted gifts. (Thankfully not last minute ones!)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's safe to show you now

My sister is in hospital, labouring away, so I can show you the pictures of the blankie and bunny at long last. Actually, I only finished the bunny this afternoon, but that's beside the point.

Ready to aaaahhhhhh.......

The blankie was a bit boring and repetitive to knit, and it did get heavy on the needles. The bunny was really quick to knit. I love her. I have named her Esme. Here are some more pics......

I do love it, especially Esme, and I hope my sister will like it. It's knitted in Debbie Bliss cotton cashmere, and the dress is baby bamboo. It's lovely and soft.

Right, back to the socks.......

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Award Time!

Ages ago, while I was on holiday, Gilraen kindly awarded me this

Thank you so much, I am truly flattered. There are so many fantastic blogs out there, and so many people making such beautiful stuff, I am honoured to be one of you lot. My queue at Ravelry is growing on a daily basis, because everytime I go on there, I see something I MUST make! Let's hope I live to 120!!

Now I need to pass the award on to some people I think also deserve it. I have chosen 2 people, although I could have chosen a lot more!!!!

Paloma at lomester
This was one of the first blogs I found when I started reading knitting blogs, as she was in a KAL I was in. She has a great eye for colour and style and has just designed her own knitting pattern as well.

Stacey at crimsonpurl
Stacey has lost her knitting mojo lately, thanks to a project that has it in for her. Hopefully she will have finished the Lizard Ridge soon and all will be well.Come on Stacey, you know you can do it. You may not think it now, but that afghan is truly beautiful and will be well worth it in the end!

Enjoy the award, you both deserve it.

On my knitting front, the blanket is finished, finally, and I have decided not to put a runnning stitch around the stars and hearts. I tried it, and it did nothing for me, so I decided to leave it as it was. I shall take some pictures later and try to put them on today. Also, update my Ravelry at some point!! I am knitting a sweet little bunny from a Debbie Bliss book in the left over yarn to go with it. My sister was due last Friday, but no sign yet. That baby obviously understands the timescales of knitting before it's even born. I'm taking it as a sign it's a girl!!!! (No offence boy knitters) I'll keep you posted.

I have also been knitting the Booga Bag. Yesterday I was ice knitting (knitting at the ice rink). I tell you what, people who suffer from depression should just pay the couple of quid to get in as a spectator at an ice rink. It is the funniest place to be. My friend and I took a bunch of kids, some ours, some not, and we watched. Well, we spent the the entire afternoon in hysterics, with tears running down our faces. Best money I spent in a long time. Pictures soon.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Contest Questionnaire

I need to post these questions in order to be in with a chance of winning yarn! Fingers crossed for me please.

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?
Yarn and needles. Sorry to be obvious, but that is all I need...call me cheap!

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If
so, how much and what type of project?

Of course. Last vacation I took socks. Sometimes I take crochet as it's portable. Quite often I take bags knitted on circs as they're really portable.

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot?
Anywhere facing the ocean in the sun is my favourite spot. Sometimes I think my favourite places are totally dependant on my state of mind, so my favourite place must be inside my head. Is that a bit deep??? (It's early)

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it?
I love Last Minute Gifts. Yes, I bought it!

5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)?

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love silk, cotton, and mixes of these 2 with wool. I hate anything itchy. I'm not keen on any novelty stuff or glittery stuff unless it's not itchy and scratchy.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A basket. Which they often fall out of. I am intending to make a holder at some point.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting since I was 15. I was knitting jumpers and things then. I would consider myself somewhere in between intermediate and advanced. There are some things I haven't tried, like steeking and so on.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, it's here...

5. What's your favorite scent?
I love lemony and fresh smells. I also love cinnamon and warm smells.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Oh Yes! All the teeth in my mouth are sweet and only eat dinner to get to dessert! I love milk chocolate, especially Cadburys. Most other things as well, apart from dark chocolate, loquorice and toffee and sour sweets.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I make cards. I sew, especially quilts. I do a little crochet. I would love to dye and spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Most music, see my profile.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love blues and greens. I also love pinks and browns. I mostly like softer, but not necesssarily pastel colours, rather than garish ones.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have a husband, a daughter, one dog and two cats.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes, as long as they aren't itchy. I do have a low itchiness threshold.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Most things really, I tend to love whatever I'm knitting as long as I love the yarn I'm knitting it with.

13. What are you knitting right now?

How long do you have???? Blankie, socks, log cabin blanket, cardigan, booga bag, shall I go on??

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I love bamboo needles. I don't mind whether they are circs or straights.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, but I have one on my christmas list.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
7 or 8 years (blush)

18. What is your favorite holiday?
laying on a beach anywhere in the sun.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
What, other than yarn? What else is there?

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I'd love some more bamboo straights, so far I only have sock ones.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I'd love to learn entrelac, and also I have never knitted lace. Also I have never dared to steek.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I have knitted one and a half pairs so far. I am a uk size 7.

23. When is your birthday?

12 May

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yes. fluffyknitting, of course!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

V Festival

Excuse me a bit today. We went to the V Festival yesterday and didn't get in til late. It was a family New Year's Resolution that we should do more music and festivally kind of stuff. And we booked these tickets way back in January. And it was one of the reasons it was hard to find a holiday this year (not that we looked much before the day we were going, as you know), because we had to be back for it. We got back late and I am VERY tired from all the walking around and all the being a festival sort of person. And consequently, (that's as big wordy as I get today), I am knackered.

Still thought I'd share my day with you though, it was so great.

We saw loads of bands...
Foo Fighters

My daughter loves Dave Grohl. If she was that way inclined, I think she would poison his wife and make Dave marry her. But instead she makes do with staring at him from afar and playing his music so loud the monkeys in space must be deafened by it.

We also saw Babyshambles.

Now, I love Pete Dougherty. I like the fact that he's kind of a modern day Sid Vicious. A bad boy. Quite handsome as well in a drug abuse kind of way. You see, Kate Moss and I share more than just the same body shape, we like the same kind of men. Anyway, he was a real disappointment to me. He just went on stage, sang the songs, drank some beer and smoked some fags and then went off. No interaction with the audience at all. Unlike Dave. He was good, I have to say.

We saw Snow Patrol

and Kanye West, and Beverley Knight, and The Coral, and a load more.

But the best band of the whole thing were The Happy Mondays.

Now, you may have never heard of them, they were big in the 80s. The lead singer, Shaun Ryder is a walking miracle and tribute to rehab. Only just walking though. Only just standing up really. But they got the crowd dancing and singing and the atmosphere was totally amazing.

This is he...

There were some great stalls there and it's a wonder I didn't come home with some more body parts pierced and others tattooed. When you're in the atmosphere of it all, it's so easy to be impulsive. This morning when I woke up, I was glad the 4 colour dragon wasn't over my spinal cord and my genitalia were intact.

We had a go on an oxygen tank. You plug into some bottles with a tube in your nose and it bubbles oxygen through some liquids. Mine were detox, head refresh as I had a headache, and a couple of others I don't know what they were (worryingly). It made me feel good though. I think I need oxygen in a tank in my house in case of headaches. Here we all are plugged in. That's Rob in that hat.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hello I love you, won't you tell me your name

Hello hello, I'm back!!

Excuse the title of this post, I love The Doors and I wanted a song name with hello in it, so that is why that's there. Plus I love you and often I don't know your name!

Just to warn you, this will be a long one. Go get a drink and maybe some snacks and settle in and get comfy. I'll wait for you.....


After much heated argument(yea, like that's that different to "huge rows"??) in our house about the lateness of booking our holiday we finally went. It was a place that could have sounded dodgy...loving couples only.....no children under 12.....secluded jardin naturiste...(look that one up).....and, can I say, Rob found it, NOT ME. I had given up after looking on 246 bloody web sites and ringing round unhelpful places. This is what I was sick of.

Me:Have you got any availability for next week?

Rep:OH you're very late looking.

Me:Yes, I know. Do you have anything?

Rep:Well, you're just so late. We're booking for 2008 now.

Stressed Me:Do you know what, I don't care if you're booking for 2000 and fucking 10 HAVE YOU GOT ANY AVAILABILITY FOR NEXT WEEK???

One lady (I call her that in the loosest sense of the word) wanted me to pay for a holiday before she could tell me if it was available or not and then, if it wasn't, which she could tell me in the next 10 days, she'd refund me.

HELLO I need to go withing 6 days and DO I REALLY SOUND LIKE A MORON??????????

ok, forget the last bit, I was pretty frazzled by then and was probably doing a really great impression of a moron. Not a Mormon. Don't get confused or offended.

You can see why, when Rob found the dodgy sounding one I grabbed it with both hands very gratefully.

Actually, I may have said/shouted/sneered
Well it'll have to do, won't it, there's fuck all left because everyone else bothers to book it a year in advance

and then slammed off and threw myself on my bed. In a calm way, you understand.

We got there and it was ok. I was luckily not expected to roam around in my birthday suit nor throw my car keys in a bowl. I was expected to lay by the pool, eat lots and read lots. The people there also kindly didn't really mention my knitting when I did it in the evening. And that suited me just fine.

It was in the middle of maize field in the country side. This is the view from our bedroom window

Very calming.

The first sock got finished and the second sock got started. We all tried the first sock on. Except the dog didn't. This is me knitting at breakfast. I had conveniently forgotten about the obsessed comment my husband made (see previous post). Please don't think because there is no food in front of me, that I was not eating breakfast. I could NEVER do that. It would be sick ad wrong and unfair to my finely tuned metabolism.

Please excuse the state of me. I am on holiday AND I have just got up.

As I promised, I didn't do much except lay by the pool, reading books and eating French cakes. The French may know nothing about vegetarianism (and believe me, THEY KNOW NOTHING) but they do know how to make the world's greatest cakes. So that's pretty much what I lived on. What?

My dog swam in the pool

My dog was not impressed

I did read the Yarn Harlot's book, The Secret Life of a Knitter. I laughed out loud so many times, people were starting to look irritated. So I finished it in bed at night rather than round the pool in the day. Furtively. Then my daughter read it. It's the funniest thing. Especially the bit about TAKE. I can identify with that. I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet.

One day, there were clouds. This meant doing something other than laying by the pool. I had a plan!!!! In the hills, some 60 km away, was a mohair farm. Once I had convinced my TAKE that they really wanted to go, we headed off to find it. I had shot myself in the foot a bit. I hate heights, and the road there was mainly a small crumbling single track road dangerously perched on the edge of a steep hill, with no barriers. I tried to remain calm for everyone's sake, but I kept thinking if someone came around the corner on the other side of the road, we would be buggered. French people drive fast and in the middle of the road on a good day, so God alone knows what would have happened to us. Just when I was thinking thank God, it's a flatter and wider road, there was a big (and low down) cave, and the pissing road went straight into it. Did I mention that as well and verigo, I also have claustrophobia???????????

Bloody hell, look at this

Oh yes, that's the road leading into it.

I tried to stay calm. But it's not one of my strong points and I screamed

"I don't like it in here"

They all looked at me like I was mental. So I said it again (a bit louder and a bit more out of control)


And then we were out. And it was ok. And we were all calm. Well they were. All I could think was....fuck...I have to go back through that to get home. I tried to concentrate on the mohair. And it got me through a scary moment. Just.

These gorgeous mohair goats were at the farm at the top of the hill. How sweet are they??

They are mohair on legs. I thought they looked like sheep. They also looked a bit like my dog. I kept her close to me in case they sheared her for her beautiful grey mohair. Coarse variety mohair.

Then someone shouted, Come on mohair goats, time for tea and a biscuit, and they all ran off

Inside the farm was what I had really some for. Check this out, fellow obsessives. No words, just pictures....(ps, this also counts for my YPF)

How lovely is that?

I was very restrained and only bought 5 balls.

The photos don't do the colours justice. They really are the most gorgeous intense shades. Of course, my daughter and husband asked the ridiculous question what was I going to make with them and then looked confused when I said I was merely going to LOVE them.
But my dog understood.

On the was back, we had to stop by the scary cave as the exhaust fell off the car. This is me and some of TAKE standing near it (a safe distance from it) the mohair side of it

Oh Yeah..............check out my braveness. I even went in it a little way. I came out quicker!

The rest of the holiday it was, thank goodness, sunny, so my nerves were spared. That is until we came home and sat in a traffic jam on the M11 for 4 and a half hours. Overheating. Stressed. Hungry. And can I just say...I know this may sound mean, but if I am going to sit in a traffic jam for such a long time, I do expect there to be a dent in the central reservation, a little blood on the road, a burnt out car or at least some luggage debris. I hope no one got hurt. I really do. But all there was when we eventually went passed was three police cars and a few overheated cars in the hard shoulder. And a lot of rubber neckers looking at them. Marvellous. Welcome home.

Moral of my holiday...

Book early for next year.

Hope you're all well and knitting furiously. I missed you all.

WIP updates coming soon. Also Secret Pal 11 has started so I need to post my questionnaire sone soon soon.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Je Suis en Vacances

I am off to find some sunshine and lay in it, eating chocolate, knitting the embossed leaves socks and reading lots of trashy thrillers. All at the same time. I can feel your impressedness.

Happy knitting while I'm away, be industrious, be happy, eat loads.

PS If you do fancy joining the Vogue KAL I mentioned in my previous post, email me or Stacey at CrimsonPurl on the link below or leave a comment. Go on...you KNOW you wanna......!!!